A GUARANTEED win for a Scottish team is always good news, even if the downside has to be simultaneous guaranteed defeat as it was in last night’s dog-eat-dog Celtic League clash.
Edinburgh, with twice as many points in the bag and a mid-table position, started as favourites but with the nagging memory of having been turned over by the league’s perennial whipping boys down at Netherdale last time out.
This time there were to be no slip ups, and tries by former Hawick players David Callam and Fergus Pringle made the victory especially sweet.
Brendan Laney’s four penalties and two conversions were another crucial contribution and the full-back also popped up all over the pitch. The man of the match award was the least he deserved for an impressive performance harking back to his international days.
Charlie Hore opened the scoring for the visitors with a 30-metre penalty but Edinburgh No 8 Callam claimed the first try from a forward drive at a five-metre lineout set up when a penalty to the Borders was reversed for some close-quarter punching.
Laney missed the conversion but landed a penalty soon after when the Borders handled in a ruck in front of the posts, and another from further out when they failed to learn the lesson and did it again. A third Laney penalty followed from further out still when the ball was killed by diving bodies and at 14-3 Edinburgh looked to be nearing the comfort zone. But right on half-time the Borders pack took a five-metre lineout and mauled it over the line for prop Tom McGee to touch down. Hore converted and put the Borders right back in the game.
A Hore penalty from inside the Edinburgh 22 edged them to within one point and the home side were looking distinctly rattled. Laney calmed the nerves with a 40-metre penalty and nobody was going to stop the big lock Pringle when he crashed over on the right wing with 15 minutes to go.
Borders resistance faded and allowed Laney to run through the defence and put Callam in for his second try. Borders scrum half John Weston caught Edinburgh cold with a quick tap penalty and run to the line but it was too late to rescue the game.
Scorers: Edinburgh: Tries: Callam 2, Pringle Cons: Laney 2. Pens: Laney 4
Borders: Tries: McGee, Weston. Cons: Hore Pens: Hore 2
Edinburgh: B Laney; M Pyke, M Di Rollo, R Dewey, S Webster; P Godman, R Lawson; A Jacobsen, A Kelly, C Smith, F Pringle, A Kellock, T Blackadder, S Cross, D Callam. Subs: D Hall for Kelly 67mins, A Dickinson for Jacobsen 67.
Borders: S Moffat; S Danielli, C Hore, J Pattison, N Walker; A Warnock, J Weston; P Thomson, S Scott, T McGee, M Blair, C Stewart, R Ford, A Miller, J Dalziel. Subs: W Kay for Scott 75, G Cross for McGee 70, M Parr for Ford 56, S Newlands for Blair 80, R Goodfellow for Weston 78, G Morton for Pattison 67.